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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Economist gives up JNU emeritus post in protest against V-C

“I’ve learnt from friends and witnessed through public channels with alarm, and now with disgust, how your handling of situations as JNU’s administrative and academic head led to its steady deterioration, paving the way to its intellectual disintegration,” wrote Bhaduri, who taught at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Published: January 14, 2020 2:05:17 am
JNU emeritus post, Amit Bhaduri, Economist Amit Bhaduri, Amit Bhaduri JNU, Delhi news, city news, Indian Express Economist Amit Bhaduri joined JNU in 1973

Economist Amit Bhaduri Monday wrote to JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar, saying he was giving up his Emeritus Professorship in protest against the latter’s “handling” of the situation on campus, including the January 5 violence, and “throttling of dissent” by the administration.

“I’ve learnt from friends and witnessed through public channels with alarm, and now with disgust, how your handling of situations as JNU’s administrative and academic head led to its steady deterioration, paving the way to its intellectual disintegration,” wrote Bhaduri, who taught at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning.

“I joined the university as a young professor in 1973; with some years’ gap in between, I left it in 2001. During my years at JNU, it passed through various phases of justified or unjustified student unrest; competent or incompetent handling of situations by the administration; and even temporary shut-down of teaching. What is different now is not only incompetence of handling of situations by the authorities, but a deliberate attempt to throttle the free and lively atmosphere of debate and discussion for which JNU was known all over the country,” he wrote.

On why he had chosen to give it up now, Bhaduri said, “After talking to a few people, including those in the administration in Delhi, it is very clear to me that the V-C is an accomplice (in the January 5 violence)… I thought it was my own accountability, that I should make clear my protest.”

The V-C did not respond to calls and texts.

“It seems to me that the current attempt by the administration at destroying that atmosphere of freedom of expression is in line with a larger and more sinister plan of which you as the head of JNU also appear to be a pivotal part. You seem determined on imprinting your administration’s narrow-minded world view, and shut all other windows of ideas to students,” Bhaduri wrote.

“It pains me, but I feel it would be immoral on my part… to remain a silent observer in this larger, sinister scheme of throttling dissent… I am protesting in the only way I find is open to me. I am giving up my emeritus professorship at JNU,” he added.

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